Traders have been hoping that this week’s big price break would stimulate exporter buying. While so far, that hasn’t happened yet – at least with publically announced deals – the latest weekly export sales totals from USDA look promising.
Those USDA tallies, taken as of Thursday of last week, were better than expected for soybeans and wheat. Even the numbers for corn, which disappointed, keep the sales and shipments pact for the year well above average levels.
New wheat bookings came in at a strong 22.6 million bushels for the week, almost doubling recent slow amounts. South Korea was a big buyer, taking 7 million bushels, and China also picked up a couple of cargoes. Wheat ships of 14.2 million bushels were a little behind the pact needed for the rest of the year to meet USDA’s forecasts, but both shipments and commitments are running above average levels for this time of year.
Soybean sales were expected to be decent due to previously announced purchases by China. The total was even better than expectations, reaching almost 34 million bushels. China took some 14.4 million bushels more than deals disclosed under USDA’s daily reporting system for large purchases.
Still, soybean business will need to pick up even more to keep the government’s sales target in sight. China was a slow buyer this fall but imports are set to increase in 2012 according to a government think tank there.
Corn sales came in under 14 million bushels, well below trade guesses. China took around the half the total, showing an ability to stay under the radar. But Japan and South Korea barely took a cargo each, with both regular customers shopping around for cheaper deals. Shipments did reach a marketing year high of 38.3 million bushels, but that slow compared to big weeks from previous years.
For the complete export report, click here.